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The Underrated Trick to Keeping Your Bad Mood in Check
By Testing
 
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Your alarm doesnít go off because you had it set to PM instead of AM. When you open the fridge to grab milk for your coffee, a bottle of hot sauce goes flying and within seconds, your kitchen floorís splattered with Cholula. You manage to clean it up with barely enough time to spare without being seriously late.

On your way into the office, you look down at your hip and realize your leftovers are leaking onto your jeans. So now you smell like garlic chicken. To top it off, youíre still reeling from the argument you had with your sister last night about, of all things, what kind of party to throw for your parentsí 40th anniversary. Youíd just as soon like to crawl into a dark holeóor, better yet, your bedóthan put on a chipper face and strike up small talk with your co-workers, none of whom seem to be wearing any part of their afternoon meal on their outfit.

Itís difficult to think of the work youíve got to do today for eight or more hours. Ugh, and that meeting with the legal team at 5 PM? Who cares that Jeanine is going around with homemade zucchini bread? Or that the engineering team finally fixed that bug? Your sister hasnít responded to your last three texts, and you didnít have time to work out this morning due to said alarm issue.

Oh, boy. Itís going to be a long day if you donít snap out of itóas if snapping out of it is something you can just magically do when your insides are burning, and youíre, in a way, feeding off of your wretched mood. While it may feel good to temporarily bask in the seething glow that is currently you, you could really come to regret it. No need to damage your professional reputation because you let your foul mood seep into everything you say and do. Unlike your BFF or your partner, your team might not be so understanding if you take it out on them and then try to explain and apologize once youíre feeling better.

You, my friend, must learn to manage your bad mood. You donít have to accept your colleagueís invitation to grab coffee, and you donít need to be imminently present in every group chat conversation. Donít feel like talking to Greg about last nightís baseball game like you guys usually do? So donít.

The key to keeping your unpleasant mood in check during the workday is to say as little as possible. By staying quiet, you avoid the risk of opening your mouth and saying the first snarky thing that comes to mind. By remaining mostly mum (where you can get away with it) you forgo offending someone with your sarcasm, which feels like the only language you know today.

Muse Career Coach Kristina Leonardi suggests using the bad mood as ďan exercise in the discipline of being in the present and concentrating on the task at hand.Ē This might actually get you out of the bad mood, or ďeven just make you feel temporarily better since you're not ruminating on it,Ē explains Leonardi. So zero in on your work and zone everything else out.

Youíre obviously going to have to respond if youíre being called upon for a workday matter, but youíd be surprised at how much you can keep to yourself without anyone really noticing. Even if youíre generally very gregarious, itís unlikely that anyone but your closest friend at work is going to call you out on it much less notice.

Everyone around you likely has enough of their own stuff to deal with. You laying low for a day and never taking off your headphones isnít going to have much of an impact, if any. Trust me: Shooting your mouth off because the toxic attitude is seeping and spreading is going to have a far bigger negative impact than temporarily withdrawing. No one is exempt from being in a bad mood, but the sooner you can learn to manage it, the better off youíll be.